Tonight in live music; Toy Piano festival kickoff, Camp Howard, a no covers open mic and more

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click to enlarge Camp Howard, who play The Bends in St. Petersburg, Florida on January 5, 2017. - Henry Archer
Henry Archer
Camp Howard, who play The Bends in St. Petersburg, Florida on January 5, 2017.

Florida International Toy Piano Festival Concert Music fans might not realize it, but there’s actually a lot of toy piano in their lives. Radiohead’s Kid A, Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze,” Tom Waits’ Blood Money LP and even The Cure’s MTV Unplugged performance of “Just Like Heaven” all feature the sounds of the scaled down version of upright and grand pianos. Last year, the first ever Florida International Toy Piano Festival took over multiple Tampa Bay area venues to celebrate the instrument with performances that ranged from traditional to experimental.

They’ll do the same starting today in the 727 when the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center hosts two children’s outreach concerts at noon and 6 p.m. EST.

Things kick into high gear on Friday when festival co-founder Elizabeth A. Baker and Bay area composer Erich Barganier takes to Bloom Art Center (Bloom is closing, so Derek Donnelly's COVE space in Pinellas Park is stepping in to help) to marry electronics (think Theremin, live coding) and Indian harmonium to the toy piano. Visuals will be culled together from archival footage plus Game Boy, Merlin and other interactive light displays. Special guests throughout the weekend (which is comprised of over a dozen events) include Atlanta’s Amy O’Dell, New York City viola player Carrie Frey and Texan cello player Mandy Milliot. The festival will also pay tribute to late experimental composer Pauline Oliveros on Saturday night. All events are free except for shows at Bloom Art Center and The Space at 2106 Main shows which have a $10 cover. More information is available via thenewmusicconflagration.org. (Kickoff at Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, Pinellas Park) INFO

Venture Compound Open Mic No covers allowed at this open mic, which is probably due to the fact that "music researchers" could be there waiting to tattle tale to music-licensing companies. Seriously, it's true —just ask the Tampa Bay Times and Daily Beast. (The Venture Compound, St. Petersburg) INFO

The Rosewoods w/Camp Howard/Donna Lu/Naked Spirit Damn dude. Are Camp Howard the best Spanish-speaking garage tropi-rock band in Richmond, Virginia? Maybe, and this free show at The Bends in St. Pete is a good chance to let yourself find out. The four piece — Nic Perea, Wes Parker, Brian Larson and Matthew Benson — come supporting their sexcellent (that's sexy and excellent for anyone that doesn't speak Dad) 2016 self-titled LP, which is streaming in full below. Also visiting tonight: Naked Spirit from Pennsylvania. (The Bends, St. Petersburg) INFO

ALSO PLAYING

The Reality (Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin) INFO

Funk, Soul, and 90s Jams w/DJ Fader/Von Garden (Red Star Rock Bar, Tampa) INFO

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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